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Opinions of Saturday, 23 May 2015

Columnist: Daily Post

Akufo Addo Must Be Blamed For Murder Of NPP Regional Chairman

One of the most unfortunate episodes on Ghana's political landscape since the country returned to constitutional rule in 1992 occurred yesterday, 21 May, 2015, when the Upper East Regional Chairman of the NPP, Adams Mahama, had acid poured on him by fellow party members.
With Ghanaians waking up to hear of this act of barbarism, all thought and prayers were with the victim so he would survive. However, the inevitable happened when just as he was about to be flown to the capital for further and better health care, he passed away.
Adams Mahama's death has not only triggered anger and reprisal attacks within the NPP but has led to soul searching among Ghanaians as they seek to understand why anyone will be up to such barbarism and heinous crime. However, those doing the soul searching exercise don't have to look far for the answer – the cause of the acid attack on Adams Mahama is none other than NPP flag-bearer, Nana Akufo Addo.
Ever since he took over the leadership of the NPP from Former President Kufuor, Akufo-Addo has indoctrinated his followers with violence. He has inculcated the spirit of violence into them. He has directed NPP supporters to resort to violence to solve problems and this, they have done accordingly.
In the run-up to the 2008 elections, precisely on Tuesday, December 16, 2008, Babs Hammer, the
33-year-old cameraman of Former President Rawlings was beaten to pulp at the Golden Tulip Hotel by Nana Akufo-Addo's bodyguards who accused him of filming the NPP flag-bearer as he was entering the hotel where incidentally, Rawlings was lodging during his visit to Kumasi.
The beating took place right in the presence of Nana Akufo-Addo; he simply looked on with glee as this
barbaric act continued till the cameraman collapsed.
In the run-up to the 2007 NPP primaries at Legon and again in the run-up to the 2010 primaries of the party to elect its flagbearer for the 2012 elections, reports of Nana Akufo-Addo's men physically assaulting Alan Kyeremanteng's men was a common news report.
A front-page news item in Paa Kwesi Nduom's newspaper, TODAY, of July 27, 2010 says a lot about Akufo-Addo's violent nature which his supporters have copied. It reads;
"A member of the Team Alan, Kofi Dokyi Ampaw, has described as ".....unfortunate the inability of Nana Akufo-Addo to control his followers who are always attacking and brutalizing supporters of other aspirants"
The paper goes on to state that Mr. Ampaw, speaking on FOX FM in Kumasi, noted that "leadership entails so many things, and very important of them is your ability to effectively and efficiently manage your followers".
The paper said Kofi's comments "follow a brutal attack on one Kofi Dubai, a popular serial caller who is perceived to be an ardent supporter of Mr. Kyeremanteng by some supporters of Nana For President (NAFOP) at the premises of Ash FM in Kumasi."
Mr. Ampaw, who is popularly called Kofi 1234, according to the paper "noted that attacks on other aspirants by Nana Addo's militants and his inability to control them showed the caliber of person he is".
The paper quoted the Alan man as saying "A good leader has control over his followers no matter who they are. This is the hallmark of effective leadership, not a person who condones violence or waits for his
followers to misconduct themselves only for him to disssociate himself later from it."
Later events have proved that Akufo-Addo does not only condone the violence his supporters mete out to others but that indeed, he helps in planning them. The proof is in his speech delivered to his followers at Koforidua in a closed door meeting when in reference to the severe beatings NDC supporters were subjected to at Atiwa during the by-election, he said "Wo Atiwa, ye kyere omo adi kakraa bi, to wit, "At Atiwa, we showed them just something little". Then also is the kume preko demonstration he led in1995. That it ended in violence with the loss of precious lives, going down in history as the most violent demonstration in contemporary Ghanaian politics is not lost on Ghanaians. His recent reference
to "militants" in his party and his infamous "all-die-be-die" speech cannot be the utterances of a non-violent man. Nana Akufo-Addo's violent CV also includes leading NPP thugs in Abuakwa to set ablaze the NDC constituency office in Kyebi, his hometown, after the 2004 elections.
Then also is his order to his bodyguards to beat up supporters of Mr. Alan Kyeremanteng whenever they meet them. Clearly, Nana Akufo-Addo does not have a drop of peaceful blood running through his veins.
His claim therefore that he is not a violent person is an exercise to deceive himself and his supporters. The greatest calamity that can befall a man is when he lies to himself. It is for this reason that Shakespeare, in Hamlet, admonishes that "above all, unto thy self, be true" Does Ghana need a person of Akufo-Addo's caliber as President?
Indeed, his record with regards to his nature after he lost the 2008 election speaks volumes.

1. MILITANTS – Soon after Prof. Mills defeated him and was sworn in as President, Akufo Addo, in his first news conference after his defeat hinted that he had militants. His desire for violence here was thus made known accentuated.
2. ALL-DIE-BE-DIE : In a meeting with party supporters at Koforidua in 2010, he virtually called on them to resort to violence if need be to win the 2012 elections saying "all-die-be-die"
3. EULOGY TO VIOLENCE AT ATIWA – At the Koforidua meeting, before asking his supporters to resort to violence if need be, he made it know that he was part of the violence that was meted to NDC supporters at Atiwa when he said "wo Atiwa ye kyere omo adi kakra bi"
4. SHARING OF MACHETES – In a shocking move, with a few weeks to the 2012 elections, Akufo-Addo's henchmen distributed machetes among party supporters in the Eastern Region particularly at Kyebi to be used against NDC supporters on voting day.
5. VOILENCE AT CIRCLE – After his second defeat in 2012, Akufo-Addo got his supporters to congregate at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle where he addressed them. The supporters attacked NDC person, maimed some and burnt a car belonging to an NDC supporter.
6. CUTLASS ATTACK AT PARTY HQTR – Akufo Addo's supporters in August last year stormed the NPP headquarters with cutlasses to stop a press conference being held by National Chairman, Paul Afoko and General Secretary, Kwabena Agyepong. Blood was spilled. The police had to intervene. Akufo-Addo did not condemn the act of violence. Rather, he was seen days later with Hajia Fati who led the men with cutlasses to storm the party headquarters.
7. ATTACKS ON AFOKO & AGYEPONG AT BOLGA – Akufo-Addo's supporters just a few days ago had to be dispersed by the police at Bolga to prevent them from lynching Afoko and Kwabena Agyepong. The police had to fire tear gas to disperse the irate Akufo-Addo supporters who were threatening to overrun the police station. Afoko and Agyepong were able to leave Bolga only under heavy police and military escort. Akufo-Addo failed to condemn the act. Obviously, he is behind it.
So, who should be blamed for the acid attack on Adams Mahama? If it is not he who has taught NPP activists that violence solves every problem, then who else?